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Invasive Clams, Mussels & Snails

Golden Mussel

  • Scientific Name

    Limnoperna fortunei - Visit ITIS for full scientific classification. 

  • Description


    • Shell is golden or yellowish in color.
    • Similar shape and size to quagga, zebra, and false dark mussels.
  • Habitat
    • Freshwater lakes and rivers, but can tolerate brackish (somewhat salty) water, and establish populations in estuarine environments.
    • Found on hard surfaces. 
  • Invasion Pathways and Distribution
    • Native to China and Southeast Asia.
    • Established in South America, and potential for introduction to California.
    • Believed to have come to the U.S. via ballast water.
    • Continue to spread by attaching to boats, trailers, fishing and other gear, as well as microscopic larvae potentially spreading in water either found in moving vessels, or when water is transferred between streams or lakes in a canal.
    • Can survive out of the water for extended periods of time, and small juveniles are difficult to detect.
  • Life History
    • Individuals are either male or female, with external fertilization.
    • Spawning events release microscopic larvae into the water column.
  • Impacts
    • Multiply and reach densities that clog water delivery systems.
    • Filter water, removing plankton needed by native species, and changing water clarity.
    • Microscopic young stages can be transported in water undetected.
  • References and Useful Links

    For references by category and links to other useful AIS sites see our LEARN MORE page.